Mark Kleiman urges drug legalizers to examine costs and benefits:

[A]nyone offering a simple “solution” to the drug abuse problem, in the form of maximum controls to produce a “drug-free society” or eliminating prohibitions in favor of “taxation and reguation” or “prevention and treatment” is peddling snake-oil. The costs of drug abuse, and the costs of drug abuse control measures, are both real and inevitable, and the grown-up approach requires facing the tradeoffs squarely rather than pretending they don’t exist.

I agree. I don't believe an end to Prohibition will have no trade-offs, which is why starting with marijuana seems a pragmatic idea to me. We can observe that experience to learn for future legalization, if necessary. Pete Guither counters:

For prohibition to be even an option in a policy that in a grown-up way compares trade-offs in harms to society and individuals, the unknown and unsupported “increase” in drug abuse harm, minus the harm reduction values of regulation to all drug abuse, must be greater than the very well known and established harms of prohibition.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.